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Re: [greenyes] An explanation

Jerry's point about the political dynamics of this is well taken. From an economics perspective though, it is also true that the more you subsidize the virgin materials, the less the embedded savings (in energy and pollution for example) are worth in the recycled stock. By reducing the economic value of secondary materials, revenues to recycling programs decline and the incentives to develop better ways to recover and utilize the recycled streams is diminished.

Doug Koplow
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>>> "Jerry Powell" <jpowell@no.address> 09/10/04 12:34PM >>>
John and Richard: One reason why the removal of virgin tax subsidies does not receive wide support among consumers of secondary materials is that more than half of the recyclables collected in the U.S. are consumed by integrated producers (those who use both virgin and secondary materials). In newspaper recycling, the two largest users of ONP are Abitibi Consolidated and Weyerhaueser, both integrated producers. In aluminum cans, it's Alcoa and Alcan. In fact, only a fairly small portion of secondary materrials is used to make all-recycled-content products. There's no 100-percent recycled glass bottle, there's no all-recycled corrugated box, etc.
Jerry Powell, Editor and Publisher
Resource Recycling Magazine
E-Scrap News
Plastics Recycling Update

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